Species group: Geckos
Other common names: Mossy Prehensile-tailed Gecko; Short-snouted New Caledonian Gecko
Scientific name: Rhacodactylus chahoua
The Mossy New Caledonian Gecko is an arboreal gecko which is native to the southern portion of the island of New Caledonia and to the outlying islands of Ile de Pines and Grande Terre. R. chahoua is uncommon in the reptile trade, and is currently being evaluated by CITES as a possible candidate for protective status.
Appearance / health:
R. chahoua gets its common name from the moss or lichen-like pattern it displays. Colors range from rusty red and brown to green or gray. There has been some notation that color could possibly be a geographic indicator in this species as the geckos from the outer islands most often display the lighter gray patterns. It commonly reaches a snout to vent length (SVL) of 5.5 inches.
As the Mossy New Caledonian Gecko is arboreal, it strongly prefers a cage that is taller than it is long. A male-female pair may be kept in a terrarium with a minimum size of 24 x 18 x 18, but as with all arboreal geckos, the taller the better.
In the wild this gecko is omnivorous and feeds on insects and fruit and will also occasionally eat smaller lizards. In captivity they thrive on a varied diet including mealworms, waxworms, crickets, fruit and meat baby food, small lizards/ pinky mice, and a commercial product such as Giant Gecko Meal Replacement Powder (MRP).
R. chahoua lays two well calcified eggs that become adhered to one another shortly after laying. This is known as "egg gluing". R. chahoua is the only Rhacodactylus gecko that lays adhering eggs. The eggs are generally laid on top of the substrate (generally behind loose tree bark) and are guarded by the female. The eggs hatch 60-90 days after laying.
beautiful colors, fascinating gecko, great starter reptile, excellent personalities
high startup cost
bark chip substrate, deep dome hoods, uvb tropical bulb
From Kacie Bingham Sep 29 2017 4:51PM
Great starter reptile! Can be hard to find in its habitat.
These guys are another great starter reptile. Fairly easy to take care of but as with most reptiles there is a high startup cost that many potential pet parents don't anticipate. Expect to spend at least $300 on the habitat and necessary accessories.
They are tropical reptiles, so a glass aquarium style habitat works best to keep humidity up I recommend a 10-20 gallon tank anything smaller will be too small and anything bigger will require extras to keep at proper temperature.
I recommend a bark chip substrate for their optimal comfort. They will trap moisture from misting and release gradually. It also requires a lot less cleaning than other substrates. You can also add a bit of moss for them too.
A metal screen top with clips works best as you can simply set your heat lamps on top
You will need three deep dome hoods for you lights: A uvb tropical bulb (normally around $30) a 75 watt daylight/basking bulb ($16), and a 75watt night red or purple light ($10-16)
Plastic plants, vines, branches (These guys love to climb, so add some height to your habitat)
a big enough to soak in water dish
a shallow food dish
mealworms and crickets (always have mealworms in the habitat's dish, crickets do 3-5 a day depending on size of gecko and get bigger crickets as your gecko gets older)
A temp and humidity gage
either a misting bottle to mist the habitat 3 times a day, or an auto misting system (if you are gone often or aren't home for long hours I highly recommend this)
A temporary habitat to hold your pet while you are cleaning their habitat.
I also highly recommend a light timer, it will automatically switch the light bulbs for you. (very important if you aren't home)
This should be everything that you will need (well except the pet of course :)
You want to make sure you choose a healthy gecko. Ask the pet store when they got them in. You want to make sure they have been at the store for at least a few days, as that gives them time to show symptoms of being sick from traveling to the pet store. Also ask when they last ate and how many on average they are eating.
They do blend very well into their environment, so I highly recommend getting very green plants and decorations so they will stick out better. Locate your pet before you open the habitat, this way you will know how close they are to the top and can watch them to be sure they will not try to escape. If you can't find them/see them in the habitat don't worry, simply pick up each piece of decoration in the habitat and inspect it (still in the cage) and take out piece by piece till you find them. They will also blend into the wood chips so slowly skim your hand over the top of the chips to see if it spooks them into moving. They are alright to be handled, just watch them as they are quick to try to escape. If you do hold them, hold them in their habitat or over another surface only a few inches from the ground to prevent injuring them if they accidentally jump or fall.
Once you get the hang of these guys they are excellent basic pets. So long as you keep the proper temperature and humidity you geckos will provide you with hours of entertainment..
From nowanico2403 Oct 9 2015 3:11PM